Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Ever wake from a dream but can't move?

Or maybe you don't "awake," you just feel like you did--and the dream continues. You can't run, you can't sit up.

You may even "see" something vague in the corner of the room. What IS that?

This is called sleep paralysis.

Your body is telling you are are in the rapid eye movement (REM) phase of sleep, in which the limbs are temporarily paralyzed (to keep you from acting out dreams).

But you are awake for a few moments, with the paralysis still in effect.

This can be frightening, says Steven Bender, DDS, director of the Center for Facial Pain and sleep Medicine at Texas A&M.

Sleep paralysis is different from night terrors in that the brain is awake even if the body isn't.

You can have vivid hallucinations under sleep paralysis.

Seven to eight percent of the population experiences this. It is most common in African-Americans, young adults, and females. Napping during the day or being on the phone or laptop in bed may increase the likelihood.

Also raising the risk: Narcolepsy, depression and anxiety.

Sleep paralysis isn't dangerous or harmful. Just scary.

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